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"The History
of Project"

The History of Robin Hood
Contributed by:
Ted Anthony Roberts

The world of swashbuckling is perhaps larger than what is realized. Here are a few subjects:


Robin Hood,



and King Arthur.

The English words "Swashbuckling," "Swashbuckler," and "Swashbuckle," do not even appear until the 1500's. Even though English slowly came into existence near the end of the Middle ages - advancing from Norman French and Anglo Saxon - the word itself did not appear at first in texts, even though it was already a well known word. From the few samples we have handed down to us, even from Shakespeare himself, it is clear that what Renaissance people considered a "Swashbuckler," is different from what we consider.

Today, a Swashbuckler is one who is reckless, brave, a bold speaker - able to deliver promises - and who is adventurous. However, in the 1500's, he was considered a braggart, never coming through with promises! In other words, after he had threatened, he would tuck tail and run when his challenge was met.

However, by the beginning of the twentieth century, the term, thanks to actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr., father of all film Swashbucklers, had transformed into what we now know - a boasting swaggerer who actually follows through with his boasting. The term also applies to a movie with an adventurous nature.

The Swashbuckling period was from the beginning of time, until the end of the Nineteenth century, and was only carried over into the Twentieth Century by film, and a few real life individuals.

"Swash" means to dash against, and "Buckler" means a small shield. In the 1500's, soldiers yielded both sword and buckler, and in dueling, both would swing their swords, dashing them against the buckler. So, considering this, one can see the beginning of the terminology: "Swashbuckler!"


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